Fast forward to 2022 and the new Audi Q5 Technik 45 TFSI Quattro is now 31-percent more costly. Fuel prices are now hovering around $2.00/litre, 67 per cent more than in 2012. The monthly grocery budget has grown by more than 50 percent. And PEI’s average home price is now solidly above $400,000. $414,742 in April, to be precise.
Beyond the obvious use of 2012 as a milestone given its decade-ago status, the year stands out for a couple of other reasons.
What a difference a decade makes
First, it was the year my wife and I began home-hunting in PEI, 300 kilometres from our Halifax apartment. (We didn’t make the move for another five years, unfortunately.)
In 2012, it sometimes seemed as though there were more Island homes with For Sale signs than there were without. After a weekend of viewings, realtors would follow up with the ardor of a hungry automotive sales consultant. Despite our miniscule budget, there were more homes available to buy than we could reasonably see.
Second, 2012 was the year in which the Tribute-replacing Mazda CX-5 went into production. By 2014, the CX-5’s first full year on the market, the CX-5 was a certifiable hit for Mazda, accounting for more than a quarter of the brand’s volume.
The CX-5 channeled Mazda’s sports car passion and steadily earned more market share despite its slightly-small cabin and initial lack of a hi-po powerplant. Mazda Canada’s CX-5 volume repeatedly increased in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 before succumbing to pandemic forces in 2020.
To be honest, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 in turbocharged Sport Design trim isn’t the most affordable SUV on the market. It’s also a far cry from the entry-level $22,995 manual-shift CX-5 GX of nearly a decade ago.
Yet at $44,720, this blacked-out CX-5 is, in more ways than one, the inflation-proof spiritual successor to that Audi Q5 of 2012.
There’s more power, more torque, and more technology.
Badge snobbery aside, there’s undeniably more upmarket content, too: noise-isolating front glass, a 10.25-inch widescreen, 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint audio, lovingly red-stitched black leather, memory settings for the driver’s power functions, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, navigation… you know the drill.
There are a bunch of those small touches, as well, the kind of details that don’t sound like much but manage to make a tangible difference: black headliner, a satin-chrome front console knee pad, heated rear seats and ventilated fronts, a bunch of LEDs inside and out, and even a glove box with soft-touch lining.
Oh, and don’t forget all of the tech abbreviations that either hadn’t been invented in 2012 or hadn’t made their way anywhere close to the mainstream.
Is $44,720 an awful lot of money for a two-row Mazda SUV?
You can actually spend more by way of the CX-5 Signature. To answer that, ask yourself if $45,300 – roughly $55,000 in 2022 dollars – was too much for a mid-range Audi Q5 10 years ago. Apparently, it wasn’t. Canadians have routinely made the Q5 one of the two top-selling premium brand utility vehicles in the country over the last nine years.
While you’re at it, ask yourself if $414,742 is an awful lot of money for the average PEI home.
Rising home prices are by no means the only aspect in which PEI’s cost of living is climbing.
In fact, there’s nowhere else in Canada where inflation is more keenly felt. Canada’s 6.8 percent year-over-year inflation uptick in April, for example, hid an 8.9-percent surge in PEI. Islanders also experienced the highest inflation in Canada in March, February, and January.
Yet in the world of luxurious small SUVs, there is at least one way to pay 2012 prices in 2022, albeit with one caveat: you’ll have to forego the premium badge.